Hi I’m a 14 year old girl who’s been suffering from anxiety for as long as I can remember, and I’d like to bring up a new fear that has been bothering me nonstop recently, On Friday I had some friends over for the weekend to hang out, and they suggested we watch a scary movie. I was a little reluctant about the idea, but I did it anyway. Well I really REALLY wish I hadn’t. Ever since then I’ve been afraid (I know it sounds ridiculous) I’ve been afraid of being possessed and hearing voices. There was no fear around this topic until they mentioned watching the movie, so I’m most likely sure that’s how it started, although this is a fear I’ve had in the past, I don’t recall it being this bad. This fear turned into not only the fear of being possessed, but the fear of hearing voices and becoming schizophrenic. It seems like no matter what family tells me I can never seem to believe that everything I’m afraid of are just thoughts. I want to learn how to not doubt that all of my anxiety is really JUST anxiety. It’s been so scary to go to sleep at night, because I’ve been afraid of not waking up in the morning. I’m afraid (not meaning to be graphic) but I’m afraid that I’m going to be possessed and hurt myself in my sleep. I’m almost done with my freshman year of high school, I want to be able to enjoy my life again. My heart is racing just writing this. This morning I started thinking and although I normally have intrusive thoughts, this morning my thoughts didn’t sound like my voice, it was still in my head, but it still terrified me. I’m absolutely terrified, I’m afraid that I’m going to die or develop some kind of psychosis. Please help and respond quickly, I don’t know what I can do. I’m afraid to no end.
It must be difficult to carry around so much anxiety, fear, and to feel you have no control over it. Losing sleep on top of it just adds to the difficulty. I have three recommendations. First, stop watching horror movies and limit your viewing of TV news. The graphic images used in these mediums have been known to exacerbate fears and anxieties.
Secondly, I would put together a regular exercise program for yourself. Find out from your gym or health teacher what the best way is to begin. Regular exercise is central to any program that supports well-being.
Finally, if these two things don’t help enough ask to speak to your school’s counselor. He or she can help you figure out what to do next.
Wishing you patience and peace,